Assisted Living Myths

Shedding Light on Common Misconceptions

Assisted Living Myths: Shedding Light on Common Misconceptions sage aging podcast episode 74

Sage Aging Podcast Episode 74

According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 900,000 adults live in assisted living communities. But when it comes to considering a transition to assisted living, people often have reservations. Fear of a loss of independence, leaving the family home, and a myriad of misconceptions keep older adults from making a change that would bring a higher quality of life. In this episode, we will bust the most common myths about assisted living. Click the link above to view or listen.

My Guest

Laura Tenpenny is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Lake Gibson Village in Lakeland, FL. Laura’s career began in the hospitality industry, later transitioning to senior living (hear more about that in this episode!).  With over 20 years of experience, Laura understands how the assisted living lifestyle can improve older adults’ quality of life by offering meaningful personal care, nutritious meals, and vibrant social interaction and activities.  

Connect with Laura:, LinkedIn

What We Covered

Assisted Living Defined

Many older adults and their families have misconceptions about assisted living. One common misconception is that assisted living is the same thing as a nursing home. It’s understandable that this misconception exists, but the truth is aging care has changed a lot over the last couple of decades. To give you a better understanding of the difference, let’s define both.

Assisted living is a place that offers personalized care, in a residential setting, for individuals who may need assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs)

A nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing facility is a place that provides skilled nursing care, personal care, custodial care, and rehabilitative care to persons who are ill, recuperating after surgery, or physically weak. Some may also offer respite care to give relief to a family caregiver.

Other Common Myths

  • If I move to an assisted living community, I will lose my independence: The services in assisted living communities can actually restore independence by taking away the stress of ADLs residents need assistance with.
  • There is no privacy in an assisted living community: Assisted Living is typically apartment-style living. Private residences with access to dining, gathering, and activity spaces.
  • Assisted living is just too expensive: While this is true for some, you’ll be surprised at how comparable the cost of assisted living is to maintaining your own home. Consider costs like rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, transportation, housekeeping, lawn, care, and other fixed expenses.
  • The food in an assisted living community is institutional: While the food will vary by community, most communities have robust dining programs that offer great food prepared to proper nutritional standards. Many are even able to accommodate special resident requests. When considering communities, be sure to stop in for a complimentary meal before making your decision!
  • If I move to an assisted living community, I’ll be bored: On the contrary! Activities directors in assisted living communities design a variety of programs and activities to support all levels of activity. From field trips to the theatre, restaurants, or other events, to bingo, crafts, social events, and entertainment onsite, you’ll find you likely will be more active than you would be living alone. Furthermore, the opportunity for new friendships is a great benefit.

Change is never easy, but it can be especially challenging as we age. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from a more supportive environment. Take the time to explore your options. For some, in-home care may be the best option, but don’t discount the benefits of assisted living. Explore, compare, and make an educated choice about what works best for you.

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Liz Craven
Author: Liz Craven

Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 29 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.